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24 February 2017

Review: 'My Sister's Bones' by Nuala Ellwood (2017)


Kate Rafter is a successful war reporter. She's the strong one. The one who escaped Herne Bay and the memories it holds. Her sister Sally didn't. Instead, she drinks.

But when their mother dies, Kate is forced to return to the old family home. And on her first night she is woken by a terrifying scream.

What secret has Kate stumbled upon?
And is she strong enough to uncover the truth . . . and make it out alive?

Not too long ago I unexpectedly received a review copy of Nuala Elwood’s novel ‘My Sister’s Bones’ which was released by publisher Penguin on February 9th. I have to admit I sometimes can’t help myself and judge a book by its cover, but if I had done that in this case I am pretty sure I would never have picked up this novel. The cover does nothing for me, and the book description also doesn’t really entice me to be curious about the story inside. However, the good thing about receiving copies like this thriller for review is that I didn’t make the decision in the book shop to not pick it up, I was lucky enough to get a copy and simply for that reason it is worth sitting down with it and giving it a shot…!

Kate Rafter has always enjoyed her job as a war reporter, travelling to dangerous areas to report local news to the rest of the world.  When the passing of her mother brings Kate back to the UK, she is forced to not only deal with her own issues, such as the effect all the horrible things she has encountered has had on her, but also with her remaining family, namely her younger sister Sally and Sally’s husband Paul. Sally is an alcoholic, and has been for years, and even though Paul tries to bring the two sisters together, their relationship seems to be ruined. As Kate starts to hear and see things no one believes are real, she finds herself in a difficult situation. But Kate is determined to discover the truth, whatever that may be.

If you love a good thriller, then I think I can safely say that you will not be disappointed  by picking up Nuala Ellwood’s ‘My Sister’s Bones.’ The novel is compelling, has some dark and intense elements at its core and a captivating storyline with an interesting set of characters. That being said, though, I have to be honest and say at the start of this review that this is just not my genre. I miss a bit of warmth and humour, and secretly still find myself keeping my fingers crossed for a happy ending for all. However, I do think, also based on other reviews that I’ve seen, that this is a good read, especially since it did manage to keep my interest and kept me guessing and wanting to know what would eventually happen to main character Kate and some of the other secondary characters in the novel. Kate is a fascinating main character; I won’t say I really ended up loving her, but I did understand some of the decisions she made and why she is the way she is. Both her and Sally’s story intrigued me, and I enjoyed learning more about the both of them and their history.

I don’t want to give too much away about the plotline, because that can ruin the reading experience, especially for a read like this one, where it is better if you know hardly anything about the story before you dive in. There is a realistic set of characters at the core of the story and there are a few twists and turns along the way to keep you guessing. The author’s writing style is quite engaging, a balanced mix between dialogue and description/scene setting, and the chapters are of a good length. While I personally wasn’t 100% engrossed in the read, I do honestly think fans of this particular genre will be able to really enjoy this in the way it should be enjoyed, because even though I am definitely not an expert when it comes to this genre, ‘My Sister’s Bones’ is a compelling and tense read that had me on the edge of my seat, and it is undoubtedly worth a chance.
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

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